WHY I AM A MEMBER

“The bespoke information has been invaluable for my career and employment; I don’t feel alone anymore. I have the peace of mind knowing my income is protected with my BGA insurance.”

Jenny Hooch

BGA Member

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Would I have joined?

British Grooms Association founder and Executive Director, Lucy Katan, shares her thoughts on why BGA membership matters...

"Happy New Year to you all. We have our work planned for 2019 and we are ready to rumble!

We will be launching three new e-learning courses, a definitive guide to transporting horses, a health & safety tool kit, more practical guidance on the website and further online tools to develop your career.

All of this new material and support, and we will be representing grooms at the British Equestrian Federation meetings and pushing forward our Good Employment initiative to improve the working conditions and treatment of people who work in the industry.

All this for less than 50 pence per week. That’s right, we work tirelessly on our members behalf for £21.50 per year. What’s stopping you from joining?


WHY IT MATTERS TO BELONG

I often wonder if I would have joined the British Grooms Association had I not been the person who founded it in 2007!

Like most of us, I started my career working in a riding school and worked my way up to be the manager of one of the top British dressage yards. We were on the British team and I considered myself to be pretty smart at what I did.

The pay wasn’t much but I was doing something I loved. However, I’d been poorly employed on most occasions, I’d been bullied and I had a sense that something wasn’t fair.

I was really proud of the job that I did, but I recognised that my occupation was poorly recognised by pretty much the rest of the equestrian world.

All of this led to me becoming inspired to form the BGA – your professional association.

 

BEING PART OF THE PROFESSION

But why does belonging to your professional association actually matter? Would it have mattered to me when I was a groom? I honestly think it would have done.

According to Wikipedia, the role of a professional association is to ‘further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest in that profession.’

The BGA is your professional “home.” It’s the place where people who are doing the same thing as you (working with horses) will come together.  

Everyone takes something different from their membership but it is really good value at only £21.50 per year.

For some the discounted insurance is the sole reason that they join up. For others it is the advice and support, and for some it is the opportunity to know that they are not on their own and belong to a community.

In 2018 we launched two new key initiatives, one offering support for grooms who need advice and an industry changing agreement to get good employment on the agenda.

Grooms Minds has certainly helped so many who did feel isolated and trapped. Grooms Minds has provided an online resource to offer support to those who might feel alone and might be struggling with their mental wellbeing or having a difficult conversation with their employer.

The Memorandum of Agreement is a new path forward for the entire industry, ‘Good Employment’ is now on the agenda. The BGA will continue to work with our sister organisation, the Equestrian Employers Association to support employers on how to achieve legal standards and practices.

This directly has an impact on better working environments and legal employment for equestrian employees (grooms); which subsequently leads to better salaries.

 

REPRESENTING GROOMS

With 40,000 grooms working in the equestrian industry, the BGA has an important role to play.

Our membership is growing, but the more grooms that join together, as a community and a professional voice, quite simply the bigger the difference will become.  

If grooms want to see their profession become respected and recognised as being a skilled role, then it is important that the public interest is raised. The BGA works tirelessly with all equestrian media to achieve this aim.

The greater the public recognition of the importance of the groom, the larger the profile it has and the more people know about what you do and why it matters.

 

WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW

Membership has doubled over the past 18 months, we are certainly growing fast, but imagine…

  • If every member introduced just one colleague or friend.
  • If every person that “had been meaning to do it for a while” seized the day and signed up.
  • If our membership was heading towards 5,000 grooms, belonging to one professional association.

 

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY

You have no need to imagine about the possibility of a professional organisation for grooms existing – because it does.

It has been formed for grooms – all grooms. It makes no difference what you do, freelancer, employed, student, apprentice, caring for hairy ponies or Olympic super stars.

Membership is as low as we can possibly make it – it costs just 41 pence per week to belong.

So stop dithering, get your bank card out and get online. Together we can make a difference and by joining up you make our voice louder and louder.

Better employment, more training and support and widespread recognition of how vital grooms are to the equestrian world – help our horses by helping our grooms to be paid properly, trained and valued – as a key part of the profession.

Sign up now and be part of the difference, become a BGA member.



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